The 88th Annual Academy Awards were presented last night, and if you are a movie buff, I hope you were happy with the awards given and received. One category receiving an award is "Best Adapted Screenplay," which are movies that are based on a previous work or story. Your Abilene Public Library has a number of these original works available.
In The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Michael Lewis examines the causes of the U.S. stock market crash of 2008 and its relation to overpriced real estate, bad mortgages, shareholder demand for excessive profits, and the growth of toxic derivatives. This is a fresh, character-driven narrative full of indignation and dark humor.
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin is set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, and is the story of a young woman named Ellis Lacey, who is unable to find a proper job in the small Irish town where she lives. When a priest sponsors her passage to America, she finds employment there and falls in love. However, devastating news from home threatens the promise of a new life.
Astronaut Mark Watney is one of the first people to walk on Mars. Unfortunately, he may be the first to die there as well in The Martian by Andy Weir. After Watney is nearly killed by a dust storm, forcing his crew to evacuate, he is left alone on the desolate planet with no way to even sign Earth of his status. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills - and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit - he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next in his quest to survive.
Room by Emma Donoghue is narrated by a five-year-old boy named Jack whose mother keeps him in a single room in order to protect him from the man who has held her prisoner for five years. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer. It's a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.
The library doesn't have the fifth nominee Carol (also known as The Price of Salt) by Patricia Highsmith, but if you're interested in reading it you can obtain the book through Interlibrary Loan.
We also have books that tell more about the history of the Academy Awards themselves. The book 85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards by Robert Osborne presents his observations as well as information and photographs from the Academy's historical archives. It's a wonderful book for movie fans.
For more background information, you can also read The Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History by Gail Kinn and Jim Piazza, as well as Inside Oscar by Mason Wiley. Kinn's and Piazza's book contains great stories of actors and directors and a comprehensive list of winners and nominees, as well as stories and pictures of each award ceremony, while one reviewer says of Wiley's book "Movie buffs will enjoy this, and skeptics may very well find reading the book more enjoyable than watching the show."
We've also got a number of previous Oscar winners on DVD, including The King's Speech, 12 Years a Slave, and even older winners like The Godfather and Casablanca. Regardless of what you choose; check out some of these great items at your Abilene Public Library and the winner is...you!
Article Contributed by Tony Redman, Information Services Librarian at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library